MULLEWA FAMILY ON A HARVEST ROLL
An uninterrupted run, high yields and strong grain prices are underpinning an almost ideal harvest period for Brett and Renata Steele’s grain enterprise at Mullewa.
The Steeles planted 5300ha of crop this year with their son Daniel and, to the start of this week, had stripped all 800ha sown to canola, 400ha of lupins and about 3000ha of their 4100ha wheat crop.
With only a week of harvest remaining, Mr Steele said it had been an excellent season, with returns likely to match those received in the farm’s top years of 2008 and 2011.
He said all of the cropping program was sown dry this year, with the property receiving only 70mm of summer rain to provide soil moisture.
This was followed by aboveaverage growing season rainfall of about 200mm from June to August but then a harsh finish in early September, when the final rain event of 2mm was recorded.
Mr Steele said across the canola program, yields averaged 1.1t/ha, which was a good result for the non-GM varieties that they used and surprising given the tough spring conditions.
“Our lupins had a slightly above-average yield of 1.8t/ha and the wheat we have harvested to date has been yielding about 2.5t/ha, which is also above the long-term average,” he said.
“We are really happy with the quality of the grain as well, although wheat protein levels have been a bit variable.
“About 20 per cent of the wheat we have taken off has had protein levels of under 10 per cent, pushing it back into the ASW1 stack.
“In hindsight, we probably could have used more nitrogen.
“But we are really happy with where things are at.”
Mr Steele said strong grain prices and good harvesting weather were capping-off their wonderful season.
Brett and Daniel Steele have pulled in one of their best harvests since 2011.